There’s a magical time in every adolescent’s journey from childhood to adulthood, one specific moment where they go from being a child to an adult. Maybe not in terms of maturity or experience, but physically. For many teenagers and young adults, the early talk, worry, and anxiety about wisdom teeth removal is often one of the first signs that childhood is long gone. Of course, that’s because removing your wisdom teeth is, in a way, the last time you really want your mouth to lose any teeth for the rest of your adult life.
Here at our family dentist office and oral surgeon in Garden Grove Ca, we have quite a bit of experience with wisdom teeth. For many of our patients, one of the first concerns is whether or not the wisdom teeth are “impacted”. This is often one of the first questions we get asked, and for many, that’s because it can have an impact on the length and (potentially) the discomfort of your recovery.
But are impacted wisdom teeth even something you have to worry about? Read on to find out.
the Early (and not so early) Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
It is painful or difficult to Chew
You’ve noticed swelling, irritation, or redness of the gums in the back of your mouth.
You’re starting to find it’s difficult or painful to open your mouth
You’ve started to notice your breath is bad
You have a bad taste in your mouth
You’re experiencing pain in the back of your mouth
What do Impacted Wisdom Teeth Look Like?
Many patients often read about wisdom teeth online and attempt to self-diagnose. This is perfectly normal. However, it’s important to see your dentist before you draw any conclusions about your wisdom teeth and whether or not they’re impacted or not. That said, the image below shows a good example what a typical mesial impaction (and a fair amount of plaque and staining. Don’t forget to brush extra carefully to get those hard to reach places!).
Does Treatment and Recovery for Impacted Teeth Hurt More?
Generally, no. Patients will often hear that their wisdom teeth are impacted and take the news like a death sentence. Really, for most patients it’s nothing to worry about. The only difference between pulling an impact wisdom tooth and a non-impacted wisdom tooth is the length and “difficulty” of the procedure for your dentist. The simple fact that a wisdom tooth is a little harder to access than a non-impacted tooth means that there’s a slightly greater chance that your post-operative discomfort might be a little greater. But this is only due to the relative amount of activity your mouth and jaw had to go through to achieve the end goal of getting rid of your wisdom teeth.